SOUTH CHILTERNS CATCHMENT MANAGEMENT PILOT PROJECT
STEERING GROUP
TERMS OF REFERENCE

Aim

The South Chilterns Catchment Steering Group aims to develop a vision and a strategic plan to deliver and maintain a healthy, functioning water environment (including rivers, lakes and groundwater) across the catchment.

Objectives

  1. Remit and Status


  2. 1.1 The South Chilterns Catchment Steering Group will provide a forum for discussion of issues and co-ordination of activity to develop a Catchment Management Plan and to work collaboratively to deliver the plan.
    1.2 The steering group, as a partnership, is unincorporated and is not a legal entity. As such, it cannot hold or expend funds itself. Projects and activities recommended or supported by the steering group will be led by other organisations best placed to do so.
    1.3 The steering group, in discussions and any recommendations, will respect the rights of private landowners whilst also recognising public rights and values attached to the land and landscape.
    1.4 The steering group is not empowered to make executive decisions, but through building consensus seeks to offer a valuable advisory and consultative role, and may choose to make recommendations or representations to other organisations.
    1.5 Members will keep each other informed about any existing or proposed project work relating to the catchment.

  3. Operation


  4. 2.1  The Foundation for Water Research (FWR) will work with the Environment Agency (EA), providing support in a hosting role to co-ordinate the project and deliver the catchment management plan. 
    2.2  The steering group will meet a minimum of three times per year to progress work against an agreed timeline. The host (FWR) will chair the meetings. 
    2.3  Time-limited sub-groups and task and finish groups will be established to undertake specific tasks as necessary. 
    2.4  Agendas and any papers will be circulated at least a week before meetings. Members wishing to include items on the agenda should try to give adequate notice to the Chair. Organisations may send alternative or additional representatives to meetings, with the agreement of the Chair. 
    2.5  Minutes and papers of the steering group will be made publicly available through an appropriate web platform. 
    2.6  It is intended that the steering group be given adequate structure without being burdened by formality. The group will endeavour to operate by communication and consensus, reflecting its main role of co-ordination and involvement. 
    2.7  The steering group recognises that some organisations within the group have statutory obligations to fulfil within the catchment and does not seek to interfere with these. 
  5. Membership


  6. 3.1  The South Chilterns Catchment Steering Group will normally comprise representatives from:

    Environment Agency
    Foundation for Water Research
    Chilterns Chalk Stream Project
    National Farmers Union
    Natural England
    Thames Water
    West Berkshire Countryside Society
    West Berkshire Farming & Countryside Project
    North Wessex Downs AONB
    Wycombe District Council
    Revive the Wye
    Chiltern Society
    Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust
    Thames Rivers Trust
    Thame Fisheries Consultative 
    3.2  Organisations listed above will nominate their representative to attend meetings. For continuity, nominated representatives may send a substitute if necessary but must ensure that this person is fully briefed and able to contribute to the meeting. Additional representatives from the organisations listed may be kept on a mailing list and attend meetings where this will be of value. 
    3.3  The steering group may invite guests to attend meetings for a particular topic. Members will undertake to promote the sustainable management of the South Chilterns catchment, attend meetings whenever possible, and, if no longer able to attend meetings on a regular basis, will step down or seek another representative. 
    3.4  The steering group will regularly review its membership and may co-opt new members. It is not a closed or static group. Organisational representatives must have significant material and/or operational interests in the issues of the catchment or area in order to support effective participation in the meetings. 
    3.5  Members will feed into wider networks that share related objectives to the South Chilterns Catchment Steering Group and vice versa.